Here’s a look at the stories and issues from around the world of soccer for your Monday morning reading.
1. Om Arvind and Gabe Lezra talk CR7, FIFA transfer rules and soccer analytics for the Let’s Fix Football Podcast
SB Nation’s Managing Madrid podcast hosts were on the Let’s Fix Football show, and one highlight of their discussion was on how analytics continue to revolutionize how the game of soccer is played. Their conversation centered around the newly proposed xPG stat, as created by American Soccer Analysis.
Brain Training: How do you incorporate statistics and data science into your training? What are the relevant statistics to your position or goals as a player?
2. ‘Control the controllables’: Amanda Dennis takes on the backbone of women’s soccer
Penn State’s Daily Collegian interviewed the goalkeeper, Amanda Dennis, for their team, the Nittany Lions.
“We talk about something all the time is ‘control the controllables,’” Dennis said. “I don’t have the privilege of running up there and scoring a goal, so I can only control defensively what we do and give us good counterattacking moments when the ball is in my hands.”
In the interview, she shares a personal story on approaching a situation in-game that was entirely out of control, and how she turned that scenario into “a beautiful save.”
Personal Reflection: How do you balance the responsibility of playing your own position, while also remaining confident enough to handle situations that are out of your control (such as your team mates or competitors on the field)?
3. Williams excels on soccer field while playing with sickle cell trait
George Washington University’s paper the GW Hatchet interviewed sophomore midfielder Alexis Williams about how she manages the sickle cell trait with her high-end play for the Colonials.
Now, she drinks a bottle of Pedialyte or Powerade Zero the night before every game and three on the morning of a game to ensure she is fully hydrated to prevent symptoms.
Demko, who took over the women’s soccer program in April, said she was immediately informed of Williams’ condition the first day she came to train the team at the end of the spring season. She said she sat down with Williams and said there would be “no questions asked” if Williams ever needed to take a break during a game.
Williams’ training and protocols for the trait have shown their results on the field with her stellar performance. As the story by Kerri Corcoran notes, “Williams has started in seven of eight games this season for the Colonials. She leads the team in goals scored with four and is one of three players to have tallied an assist.”
Personal Training: Do you or anyone on your team have to incorporate special training considerations for health reasons? What part do your teammates and team organization play in managing player health?